Most people want to travel but their budgets don’t always allow for it. Thankfully there are some tricks I’ve picked up along the way that will allow you to save big on travel. The key to saving on travel is to plan in advance. There are some tips and techniques for late planners, but the sooner the better! Flying seems to be a very popular method of travel so we’ll start this save big series off with saving on flight costs.
Save Big on Travel: Flight Costs Edition
Opting to fly out of a smaller airport could possibly save you money. Generally they are cheaper, however depending on how far you are from that airport it may not be cost efficient. If the cost of travel to the smaller airport vs the major airport is $20 or less definitely jump on it. If it is more then it is a judgement call; obviously if the cost equals out or exceeds the savings you’ll want to go with who is closest.
Use a site like Kayak.com or TripAdvisor.com to find cheapest flights for all nearby airports. Save even more with open dates!
Save on checked baggage by flying with JetBlue (who allows 1 bag checked for free) or Southwest (who allows 2 bags to be checked for free.) If these airlines aren’t available or you just prefer not to travel with them there are other options. Many credit cards offer travel perks like:
- American Express SkyMiles – Carriers of this card get 1 free checked bag with Delta Air Lines
- Chase Presidential Plus – Carriers of this card get 2 free checked bags with Continental Airlines
- Citi Platinum Select AAdvantage – Carriers of this card get 1 free checked bag with American Airlines
- Hawaiian Airlines World Elite – Carriers of this card get 1 free checked bag with Hawaiian Airlines
If you can’t get around the checked baggage fees you can pack as much as possible into your carry-on’s to allow for less baggage to check.
Tuesday and Wednesday mornings are the cheapest days to fly. If your plans allow for this it’s a great way to save big.
Use social media to your advantage. Most airlines share their deals and discounts via their social media networks. Follow them or at least check in on occasion to cyber stalk their discounted fares. Some popular airlines on social media are:
Using your frequent flyer miles may seem like a no-brainer for some but for others it just slips their minds. Check on your rewards with your card company or consider getting a credit card that offers miles. Many have a large upfront reward of points that will cover or partially cover at least 1 ticket.